Coastal Alvar Trail - Rating: Moderate - Length: 8km (loop)
NOTE: DUE TO HIGH LAKE LEVELS, THE " COASTAL” SECTION OF THIS TRAIL IS CLOSED, SO THE ENTIRE LOOP IS NOT POSSIBLE. HOWEVER, THE INLAND PORTION OF THE TRAIL (VISITORS CENTRE TO HEAD OF MAC’S BAY TRAIL) IS STILL OPEN (3.3 KM ONE WAY)
The Coastal Alvar Trail is a large looping trail that takes in the natural features in the eastern side of the park. It travels from the Visitor Centre, past old glacial beaches and dolostone pavements as it makes its way to the present-day shoreline. From there, the trail travels almost 3.5km along the Lake Huron alvar coastline until it intersects with the Mac’s Bay Trail. At that point, the Coastal Alvar Trail turns north along a glacial shoreline ridge as you make your way back to the Visitor Centre.
Inland Alvar Trail - Rating: Easy - Length: 5km (loop)
The Inland Alvar Trail takes you through stands of mixed forest, old glacial beaches and a variety of open alvar pavements. This smaller looping trail offers a number of interpretive segments including the habitat associated with most of the parks rare and threatened plants including Lakeside Daisy (Manitoulin Gold), Blazing Star, Hill’s Thistle and Pitcher Thistle. There is also a short “spur” that will allow the hiker to connect with the Coastal Alvar Trail.
Misery Bay Trail - Rating: Moderate/Difficult - Length: 5km (loop to trail head)
CLOSED DUE TO HIGH LAKE LEVELS
The Misery Bay Trail begins where the Coastal Alvar Trail meets the Lake Huron coastline. The trail crosses the bayhead wetland along a beautiful sandy outwash as you make your way to the western side of the park. Being that the wetland is so fragile please stay on the trail! Once on the western side of the park the trail features two trail loops that take you through the largest open alvar pavement in the park. Old glacial beaches, alvars, glacial boulders, rare and interesting plants, glacial striations, grykes and erratics are just some of the things you will see.
Mac’s Bay Trail - Rating: Easy - Length: 2km (return to trail head)
NOTE: DUE TO HIGH WATER LEVELS, THIS TRAIL IS ONLY ACCESSIBLE VIA THE INLAND PORTION OF THE COASTAL ALVAR TRAIL (3.3 KM).
Mac’s Bay Trail extends off the easterly portion of the Coastal Trail and travels to Mac’s Bay Conservation Reserve as it makes its way through shady cedars, across disturbed alvar and along a scarp before coming out on the Mac’s Bay shoreline. The shoreline is open and marshy and is a great place for birding. Features associated with the trail include small alvars, grykes, erratics, the glacial shoreline ridge and of course Mac’s Bay Conservation Reserve.
* Please note all trail distances are approximate.
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